Nearly 1 in 3 people in Switzerland have disputes with neighbours

Nearly 1 in 3 people in Switzerland have disputes with neighbours

Be it playing loud music after 10pm, hogging the laundry room or mowing the lawn on Sundays, living in Switzerland has many written (and unwritten) rules when it comes to handling home life. Now a new survey from the Marketagent Institute in Zurich has revealed that nearly one in three people in the alpine nation have had arguments with their neighbours.

6 percent have bad or very bad relationships with neighbours

According to the survey of 1.047 people, nearly a third of those renting a house or apartment or with owned property in Switzerland have argued with their neighbours. While 68 percent of respondents rated their relationship with their neighbours as at least fairly good, and one in five reported a good relationship, 6 percent said that they have bad or very bad relations with their neighbours.

Adding fuel to the myth that it is illegal to flush your toilet at night in Switzerland for fear of waking the folks next door, “excessive noise” was the most common reason for disputes among neighbours in Switzerland. It was followed by conflict over laundry times, failure to comply with parking rules, disputes over the boundaries of property and the improper use of communal areas. 

Half of neighbourly disputes in Switzerland end in confrontation or police

43 percent of respondents in Switzerland chose to speak or confront their neighbours about the dispute in question, 7 percent went full Bünzli and called the police, while just 24 percent chose to keep their grievances to themselves. A third of those in disputes said that tensions with neighbours made them feel stressed.

Finally, in a hint as to why so many disputes between neighbours occur, 80 percent of those surveyed said they were in the right and that their neighbours were to blame for the argument. Perhaps American poet Robert Frost was right when he said that “good fences make good neighbours.”

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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